Things Barack Obama Destroyed
CNN was enthusiastic about reminding us about Barack Obama's wonderful, flawless legacy with their weird and unusual documentary special called The Legacy Of Barack Obama. I don't recall ever seeing a similar special about the legacy of George W. Bush, but maybe my memory is failing. Weeks before his exit, Obama took parting shots at Trump, Israel and Russia in the most classless display of arrogance ever shown by an outgoing president. In his final days and throughout his two terms, Barack Obama destroyed a history worth of international and domestic progress made by past presidents.
Relations With Israel
Barack Obama did the opposite of past presidents within his first 100 days by ignoring Israel to make his first Middle Eastern visit to address Palestinians in 2009. Instead of visiting Israel, Barack Obama made his first stop in Cairo to address Israel/Palestine peace by vowing an unprecedented allegiance to the Arab world. Obama opened his address with a traditional Muslim greeting, “assalamu alaykum”, to a thunderous applause. The new president then went on to explain the great debt owed to Islam by civilization and the horrors of colonialism. From that moment on, American-Israeli relations deteriorated until the very last days of the Obama administration, when the US would break from tradition by failing to veto a UN resolution against Israeli settlements.
Just weeks before leaving the White House, Benjamin Netanyahu called the Obama administration's failure to veto the UN resolution a direct and deliberate betrayal. Those words are not only true, they perfectly describe the relationship between Israel and the United States under Barack Obama. Obama's legacy destroyed decades worth of cooperation and friendship between our two democratic nations. In a sea of Islamic dictatorships, Israel stands as the only multicultural, open and democratic government in the Middle East. Under eight years of Barack Obama, Israel was left to fend for itself.
Peace In The Middle East
Peace anywhere in the Middle East has been out of reach for generations, but under Barack Obama's leadership, the Arab Spring and ISIS set the clock back. Going back, we can trace the current reign of ISIS to the disastrous war in Iraq, but it was Obama's ignorance and poor leadership that let the situation evolve into an uncontrollable crisis.
While he golfed, Obama ignored calls to contain a small faction of Islamic radicals in Iraq and Syria. By 2014, the Islamic State controlled most of Iraq and was threatening to topple one of the few stabilizing forces left in the region: Bashar al-Asad. By 2015, the Islamic State was inspiring radicals around the world and Syrian refugees were flooding into Europe by the millions.
According to some international sources, the United States even shipped weapons to ISIS militants in Syria and some in Iraq, prior to the terror network's expansion. It has been widely reported that US and British intelligence helped build up Islamic State militants during the early stages of the Global War On Terror. Much of this aiding was done by the Obama administration.
The premature withdrawal of troops from Iraq, that was originally initiated by the Bush administration, was the beginning of what would become the nightmare we know as ISIS and the refugee crisis.
Relations With Russia
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, everything was supposed to heal between the US and Russia. A lot of old wounds began to heal under the Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and W. Bush administrations. Much of that healing was undone as quickly as one year in 2015 and 2016 under the poor and divisive leadership of Barack Obama and Democrats in the White House. From accusations of hacking and interference in the election process that ended with Hillary Clinton's demise, relations between the United States and Russia have reached a boiling point.
The intentions of Democrats and Hillary Clinton were to escalate a diplomatic war with Russia that would more than likely end in military conflict and international alienation. To the surprise and chagrin of everyone, Clinton lost the election to a Russia-friendly opponent named Donald Trump. This unpredictable event caused the Obama administration to spend its last weeks in power trying to sour relations and to make Donald Trump's chances of forming a better relationship more difficult. The sudden collapse of the establishment's geopolitical strategy to alienate and defeat Russia was perpetuated by American voters who were tired of the status quo.
Vladimir Putin's disrespect for Barack Obama started earlier with Russia's invasion of Crimea. By then, talk of “red lines” with Syria and weak policies against other countries helped encourage Putin to take advantage of Obama's weak leadership. Barack Obama's laziness and complacency on the world stage empowered Putin and resulted in the defiance and disrespect that would continue to the very end.
In retrospect, during his first term and some of his last, George W. Bush maintained cordial relations with Putin that consisted of regular visits and friendly discourse. It was only near the late end of Bush's final term that relations between Russia and the US started to cool. To be fair, this doesn't mean that US-Russia relations were necessarily stable under George W. Bush, but that they never escalated to such a hostile level as seen under Barack Obama.
Healthcare Freedom And Affordability
One of the contributing factors to Hillary Clinton's defeat was definitely the massive spike in healthcare premiums that occurred in October for millions of Americans in more than 25 states. Scholars and experts will probably spend decades debating whether Obamacare helped any more Americans acquire health insurance than any time before it was enacted. Obama's signature healthcare reform imposed billions worth of new taxes and fees on businesses, forced millions of poor Americans to pay a fine or buy unaffordable plans, put billions worth of profit into the bank accounts of insurance companies and allowed crony capitalism to thrive and a few corporations to monopolize the healthcare industry.
The list could go on to include race relations, economic freedom, relations with other countries and global oil prices (as a result of America's refusal to cut production). The list of Barack Obama's failures and the destruction created by his policies will be felt by Americans for generations. Incoming president-elect, Donald Trump, won't be able to undo the damage caused by the last eight years fast enough. He will definitely have his work cut out for him.
Let's hope Donald Trump will be successful in repairing a broken America and a devastated world. Better yet, let's do everything we can to help him do it.